Mish-Clash: Proenza Schouler Fall 2014

Overheard at Proenza Schouler’s fall collection: “Looks like house insulation that, like, goes inside walls.” Well, yes, and it would probably work as well. Wood grain also made an appearance as prints — very stylized wood grain in lush, rich colors — though it is, probably, less of a substitute for actual walls.

As partial inspiration, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez cited Ron Nagle and his biomorphic ceramics at the Venice Biennale. Perhaps the outing should have been more informed by the artist, since, as it was, it came off as a lackluster facsimile of previous greatness — and not at all expected, coming off a fantastic spring collection. It lacked the twosome’s signature frisson. The clash of prints felt just that, a clash. And the masculine shapes that used to make for a stylish antidote to the over-femininity of other designers fell short of dazzling here. For the first time, those lobster-claw sleeves that once were so forward-looking appeared overworked, and the big-shouldered linebacker silhouettes felt derivative of themselves. One bright spot: the flat shoes. Can this finally be the end of the heel?

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